British police and social care workers are facing mounting criticism after a major report revealed widespread failure to help at least 1,400 children in the town of Rotherham who were subjected to horrific sexual abuse, mostly by Pakistani criminal gangs between 1997 and 2013, out of fear of coming off as racist.
"By far the majority of perpetrators were described as 'Asian' by victims, yet throughout the entire period, councilors did not engage directly with the Pakistani-heritage community to discuss how best they could jointly address the issue. Some councilors seemed to think it was a one-off problem, which they hoped would go away," the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in Rotherham wrote in its 157-page report.
"Several staff described their nervousness about identifying the ethnic origins of perpetrators for fear of being thought racist; others remembered clear direction from their managers not to do so," according to the report. more >>
Megachurch pastor Jentezen Franklin of Free Chapel church partnered with the Los Angeles-based Dream Center to launch a transitional home for individuals between the ages of 18 to 23 earlier this week, where many will have a second chance to improve their lives.
The Dream Center's emancipating youth home located on The Dream Center's campus, called Freedom House, is one of the 200 ministries that will benefit those who have been part of the foster care or probation system.
"More than a transitional home, we are believing Freedom House will be a place where students come to know the love of Jesus Christ, that He is our only hope and our Savior," Franklin told The Christian Post. "…We are just so privileged to be a part of the dream … we can provide resources but we can't do the other things that they do so well, the programs the facility." more >>
People like the idea of marriage without realizing that it is not about what a person can take from it but rather what they can give, says Steven Furtick, lead pastor of Elevation Church.
Furtick's message was the first sermon in his series "Meant to Be" that kicked off on Sunday. Taking from the biblical verses found in 1 Corinthians 7, which speak about sexual relations within marriage, he focused on the issues that most people seem to ignore.
"A lot of you are in love with the picture of marriage. If you're going to get married, you better be ready to go to work and do a job then come home and do another job because it takes work … Paul says (in 1 Corinthians 7), come into marriage not for what you can get emotionally or sexually but what you can give," said Furtick. more >>
All schools in Nigeria have been shut down until October as health authorities continue battling the deadliest outbreak of Ebola virus in history.
"All state ministries of education are to immediately organize and ensure that at least two staff in each school, both private and public, are trained by appropriate health workers no later than Sept. 15 on how to handle any suspected case of Ebola," said Education Minister Ibrahim Shekarau.
While child sex trafficking is a serious crime, those who purchase sex with minors often avoid stiff punishment in the U.S. criminal justice system, according to a new report.
Approximately 40 percent of people found guilty for purchasing sex with trafficked children in the United States avoid felony charges while 26 percent serve no jail time.
Shared Hope International's Demanding Justice Project report studied over 113 cases where buyers were found guilty of buying sex with a minor in various metropolitan regions of the country including Phoenix, Seattle, the Baltimore-Washington D.C. corridor, and Portland. Only five of the cases proceeded to trial while the rest of the cases settled on plea agreements. Only 81 percent of the guilty buyers were convicted of a felony and none of them were charged with sex trafficking. more >>
Secular hip-hop music sometimes features strong sexual language, cursing, misogyny and murder. So why are some churches using it to engage the youth?
"Misfit the Conference," a youth and young adult event that took place in New York City this month used Iggy Azalea's summer smash "Fancy" to engage the crowd. The song features braggadocios lyrics, a bit of foul language and a bridge that talks about getting drunk at the mini bar.
The band at Misfits chose to leave out the lyrics and played the instrumental from the song. The DJs spun beats from some classic hip-hop and EDM records that also featured questionable content in their original forms. The event's coordinator, Christ Tabernacle Church's Pastor Chris Durso explained the decision to play these records during Misfits. more >>